Secure and Quiet Studio

Secure and Quiet Studio

Immaculate soundproofing and silent air conditioning.

Pro Equipment

Pro Equipment

Industry standard microphones, preamps and monitoring.

Space to Relax

Space to Relax

Refreshments and lunches in a calm environment.

Strathmore has been producing audiobooks since 1996, and has had its own bespoke audiobook studios in central London since 2002.

If a recording cannot take place at our studio in Clerkenwell, we have connections with studios around the world. Our productions have been recorded in Glasgow, Manchester, Barbados, Los Angeles, Toronto, and Melbourne.

Thanks to our network of musicians and editors, we are particularly well-equipped to produce children’s audiobooks. We also possess a sound effects library of over 10,000 items and can commission or create new music and effects for titles recorded in our studio. Our SoundCloud page features some examples of our work for children.

Moreover, Strathmore has a varied network of native language readers and speakers; in the past we have drawn upon their expertise in New Testament Greek, Polish, Latin, Hungarian, German, and more.

We can also provide audio restoration services. We possess recorders for reel-to-reel tape, cassette, DAT, vinyl, and other media. Our ProTools recording software is also equipped with powerful plug-ins which can eliminate tape hiss, vinyl crackle, and other noises. Please contact us for a quote.

Technical specifications for our bespoke audiobook studios in Clerkenwell, London.

Microphones

Main studio microphones are Neumann U89s, chosen rather than the more common U87 since it has a hypercardioid pattern. We have two.

For multi-voice work, instruments and location work, we use AKG C1000Ss. We have four.

Mixer

For one or two voices, we feed directly into Focusrites (see Preamp below), but for more, or where a premix is required, we have a Mackie Onyx 1220.

Mic Preamps and Outboard

The Neumanns are fed into Focusrite ISA430 MkII Producer Packs, of which we have two. This channel is derived from the famous Neve mixing desks of the 1980s. It has wonderfully flexible and natural-sounding compression and EQ and a very transparent and airy quality, however, we tend to just ‘tame’ the signal and leave it unprocessed, since the plug-ins on our Pro Tools system are so capable but non-destructive.

Digital Audio Workstation

We have the industry-standard Avid (Digidesign) Pro Tools HD running on Apple Macintosh G5s with Fireface UFX interface. Plug-ins include Waves Q10 and C1 and Maxim, and we have Bomb Factory emulations of the famous 1176 and LA2-A compressors, as well as Izotope denoising software.

Monitoring

Genelec 803 A monitor loudspeakers in the control room.

Beyerdynamic DT150 headphones.

Video and photograph

Our high-end Canon DSLR camera and ARRI lights can be utilised for professional quality stills and video (1080p) – examples of which can be found on our blog.

Other Devices

Sony CDP-D12 CD player.

Sony PCM-R300 DAT player (used to provide real-time back-up of whole sessions).

Tascam Portable flash card recorder DR-100 MKII for location recording. Yamaha Pocketrak portable digital recorder for interviews and short-duration location recording.

The studio normally works at 44.1 kHz sampling rate at 16-bit depth, but we can work up to 96 kHz and 24 bit.

Working Practice

We believe that the relationship between reader and producer is crucial to any recording. Our spacious green room facilitates planning and discussion in order to ensure the best performance possible. We have found that 90 minute recording blocks are best to maintain freshness and concentration, and it is usually possible to fit four of these in a working day.

We have a good record of facilitating great readings from first time readers, or readers of their own material. For example, our recording of Elmear McBride reading her debut novel A Girl is a Half-formed Thing won an Earphone award in 2014.